Happy November friends,
The leaves are falling as fast as I can type. Cooler air has chased away the warmth of Indian summer and Father Winter will be knocking on our door before we know it. Don't fret! It's a wonderful, festive time of year with so much to look forward too!
My husbands yearly ritual of raking the leaves in the back yard ( after dark so he can surprise the kids in the morning) into a large happy face is fast behind us and others await. Our teens still look forward to their annual leafy smiley- face looking up at them from their bedroom windows and I must admit, I do too!
Whether you're still living in your childhood hometown or city, or you've put down roots far away from your loved ones, family is at the center of every ones thoughts this time of year. These days it's so easy to keep in touch with Face Book, Skype, Blogging, Email, and Texting the miles between loved ones are shrinking by the second. Having instant communication at the touch of a fingertip can go along way toward easing homesickness too.
Another way to stay close to your far aways during the holiday season is to create a 3-D FAMILY TREE!
( this branch is special, it has a nest in it)
No expensive 3-D GLASSES needed and after you've created one with your family you can shoot pictures of it and share it with your loved ones too. And, you'll have the enjoyment of seeing it every day bringing you feelings of warmth, comfort and togetherness.
It was after moving away from my girlhood home ( at 40 ) to lovely New England when I first experienced being homesick. It was odd how I could love my new home so much and at the same time ache for my old one. I had to do something to chase away the homesick blues and busy hands seems to work like magic for me. I decided to make a family tree so I could be surrounded by the love of my family here, and my far aways too.
I searched the back yard for some branches to my liking and chose the photos I would use for my mini collages that would hang on my tree.
I used a sturdy vase ( in this case a lantern) as a base for my tree which I already had.
* a bucket, planter, pitcher or galvanized tin would work well too.
Now that you have your branches, vase and you have chosen your photos...
here's what you'll need to complete YOUR FAMILY tree!
- access to a scanner, copier and printer
- white printer paper
- background paper for your photos.
- * I chose scrap booking paper in an earthy autumnal color pallet. Be as creative and colorful as you like. Hand made papers would be interesting too!
- decorative edge scissors for cutting out your papers and photos.
- glue stick or double stick stickers for photos used in scrap booking.
- embellishments: text, quotes, etc. for your mini collages.
- *I chose some letters, sayings, and words that spoke to me about family.
- a hole punch to punch a hole at the top of your mini collage for your tie to go through.
- jute, string, suede, ribbon etc for your tie.
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER:
- Photo copy your photos on plane printer paper. I chose to use color but you could do black and white too.
- cut your back ground papers and photos to the size you want them to be... Any shape goes!
- glue your photo and embellishments to your back ground paper.
- punch hole in the top of your mini collage
- string your tie through the hole and hang it on your tree!
* your elementary aged children can help create with you and they'll love seeing photos of their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and themselves dangling from YOUR family tree.
* All supplies for this project can easily be found at your local craft store and in your own BACK YARD!
Now, your loved ones are near, you can see them every day and your memories of times past together are further cemented because you have imprinted them into your mind and your heart through your handiwork!
It's been several years since I made our first 3-D Family Tree and I still bring out my mini collages every year! This year a white dove was added to our tree as a symbol of peace for our home, our far aways, our country and our service men and women too!
What about you? What family traditions do you repeat each year with out fail? How have you creatively battled homesickness?